Fulham 1 – 2 Villa; Superb win. Now where’s that humble pie?

I think the headline pretty much says it all, but I guess I’d better say something.

Quite simply, I thought that was a real gritty performance; one that we dragged out despite some shocking refereeing, which was only matched by the VAR crew backing him up, seemingly because of his inexperience, according to many commentators.
What is the game coming to if VAR is letting refs off lightly because it’s their first game in the Prem, after his being promoted after not much more than a handful of games in the Championship?
This is not on at all, especially as it seems we get the rough end of a pineapple when it comes to decisions generally, as it is.

I can give three examples straight off, but there were many.

John McGinn shoulder charges a player and that’s just what it was, imo. A shoulder charge.
Granted, in today’s game it’s overly tough. Hence it’s a free kick.
Result? A yellow card for McGinn, yet no free kick and we’re given a dropped ball. That is just nuts to me. If it’s a yellow, surely an offence has been committed and that’s a very basic mistake?
Later in the game, a Fulham player does exactly the same thing to Ramsey and barges him off the pitch. Nothing given.

Ollie Watkins is blatantly fouled for what should be a penalty. From what I’ve read on a few sites, all commentators say it was a clear penalty. Result? Not given and even worse, it’s not even reviewed with VAR. That was shocking, imo.

We have a goal called off by the ref, only for VAR to re-run it and paint the line in the wrong place. Everybody says that’s wrong too, but hey, it’s only the Villa. Disgraceful.

I could go on, but this is becoming a joke now.

So rubbish officiating apart, what did I think?
Well, it was awesome and I happily admit, I called this totally wrong.

I think it was the midfield that won it, but pretty much everbody looked on top of their game.

Let’s do a one by one;

MARTINEZ 7 Didn’t really have a fat lot to do, but was caught in a bit of a mix up with Longlet for their goal. I don’t blame him and he at least made up for it with a superb one on one to keep us in it. The master of dark arts played another blinder in that sense too and continues to make me laugh as much as I’m sure he really annoys the opposition fans.

CASH 7 I thought he looked a lot better today and while I remain unconvinced about him at the highest level, I was happy enough.

LONGLET 7 He was actually a lot more competent than I expected. Okay, his being way too slow for their goal was poor, but he was otherwise very good and relaxed in passing the ball out. If he’d cost us the game, no doubt I’d have marked him lower.

TORRES 8 And probably my MOTM. He looked totally assured and the way he clears the ball, even when under severe pressure never fails to impress. He actually doesn’t look as lightweight as when he first arrived, either.

MORENO 7 Did fairly well in defence and attack and worked his guts out. Did very little wrong.

LUIZ 7 I have to be honest and say I never noticed him much. Which might well be a good thing. Hence it’s a middling score.

TIELEMANS 7 Did some things well, such as a good ball to feed Ollie for a goal, but looked to be seriously blowing when trying to keep up with Watkins, who was running with the ball. That doesn’t seem right, but I have to give him a half decent mark, purely because he contributed to a stong midfield performance. I also thought he took a lot of stick and was often doubled up on.

MCGINN 8 As per usual, worked himself into the ground and led a good midfield performance from the front.

RAMSEY 7 Contributed to Ollie’s first goal, but again, while I wasn’t convinced, he did contribute.

BAILEY 8 He was simply excellent and looked seriously dangerous all through the game. Hit the bar. I’m beginning to love this bloke and to think I thought he was never going to be any use for us, last season. I’m happy to admit I was well wrong there.

WATKINS 8 Did he do anything wrong? Not that I recall. I’m very happy that he’s got himself on the scoresheet twice and one with a very nice Dalglish type swivel for the first too.

Emery pretty much timed his subs well too, I thought.

All that said and I don’t want to be seen as a naysayer here, I’m not sure what to think about Fulham.
Well, yes I am and frankly, it’s not much on this showing.
Then again, they have a very decent home record of late, so I’m not knocking this result at all.

On a day of strange results, where the only home win was Forest over West Ham and Wolves did us a big favour in beating “everybody’s favourites” in Spurs on their own turf, we’re back up to fourth.

It’s a very good day and I’m a happy bunny again.



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  1. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 February 23, 2024 at 1:13 pm . Reply

    Apparently Holte, according to the media, it’s ‘Jordan Henderson’s’ Ajax – wasn’t aware he was the new owner!

    1. Holte
      Holte February 23, 2024 at 1:35 pm . Reply

      Why did I call him Dean? A bang average player / hypocrite!
      I’m sure he will get a hero’s welcome at VP 🙂

      1. The Ron Saunders Stand
        The Ron Saunders Stand February 23, 2024 at 3:49 pm . Reply

        Ajax isn’t a bad draw in my opinion, they are hardly pulling up trees in their domestic league conceding 41 goals in 22 games so they’re a little leaky at the back.
        Fenerbahce, Union saint Gilloise and Lille would have been much stiffer opposition and the one team you definitely don’t want to met in the final is Olympiacos given the venue.

  2. Holte
    Holte February 23, 2024 at 8:35 pm . Reply

    I read that we currently have the second most points after 25 games in our Premier League history. O’Neill‘s Villa had 51 points after 25 games in 2008/09 but only won 2 more games in the last 13! We finished 6th back then but surely Emery will amass more points in the last 13 games this season. With 49 points on the board we will need 4 wins to equal the same points as we did 15 years ago. I reckon we need a minimum of 16 points to get a top 5 finish.
    Hojlund is out for 2-3 weeks so let’s hope that costs Man Ure a few points at least. We need a win tomorrow to keep the pressure on although the way we lost at the City Ground concerns me about it. We need that first goal because it’s becoming more likely we win if we do. One thing Forest have though are players like Elanga, Awoniyi and Gibbs-White who can trouble most teams.

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